The resubmission of the Farmingdale Public
Library budget for voter approval next month has
stirred up a controversy.
The budget defeat in May resulted in a $ 5,000
reduction for a June vote. The June vote was turned
down. An upcoming August budget vote calls
for the restoration of the 5,000 June cut in order
to avoid the curtailment of a few library services.
When considering the budget, we ask readers
to ponder over some of the statistics that are
available. 100,000 books, magazines, pamphlets
and government documents are available on
virtually every subject. The library will add about
12,000 more books this year to keep the information
sources. $ 55,500 is allocated for books that
range from $ 480 reference bbok sets to $ 1.25 children's
titles. New and repleacement items are added
to keep the 30,000 volume children's collection and
70,000 item adult book stock at that level.
More than 30,000 of the library's borrowers
took home 400,000 books this past year. The
Main Library loaned out 105,000 books, the South
Farmingdale Branch 200,000 and the Bookmobile
The many residents of this area who belong to the
Massapequa Lodge of Elks, should be proud of the
national recognition that the organization received
in winning first place on the national Americanism
It is not often that a comparatively young organization
is able to cope with older more experienced
groups in national competition.
Although the inspiring and impressive annual
Flag Day parade is one of the best remembered
programs by the E; ks, this was not one of the real
reasons for receiving the coveted honor. The Organization
is involved in many worthwhile community
The community is proud of the organization for
bringing such a fine honor to this area.
The controversial lowering of the voting age
from 21 to 18 years which was being considered
by the New York State Constitutional Convention
has some interesting ramifications.
When it was first discussed and proposed by
the delegates in Albany, the majority Democrats
felt that chances of passage of the proposal were
good. The delegates are now passing the buck
to the Legislature. Why they chose this course,
no one seems to know.
The lowering of the voting age on a national
level could produce some interesting effects,
especially on the reelection of President Lyndon
We would like to hear from our readers on
how they feel on the lowering of the voting age.
Why not let us know in writing what you think ?
Published every Thursday by
THE OBSERVER, INC.
M\ rtle 4- 6367
• rank j. Kl'.- sh - Caroline B. ' Clesh,
Editor and Publisher
Vol. 4 No. 48
1 • i J •
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Letters To The
All interested citizens of District
22 and particularly the library
trustees are anxious that we
have the best library that it is
possible to have.
Every one of us is greatly concerned
over charges that the library
contains material that is ob-scene,
or whatever its critcs
are calling it at any particular
In a recent effort to determine
what materials were being so labeled,
Mr. Carl Gorton was asked
to list typical materials which
formed the basis of his criticism.
This, surprisingly, he refused to
He suggested that an adult only
section be set up in the library but
he refused to suggest as typical
any publications which should
be put in such a section. This
was particularly surprising as he
had no apparent hesitancy last
April when he was campaigning
for office in labeling a literary
quarterly as « * Obviously obscene."
Any library trustee who feels
that the library should be divided
into sections with one for adults
only owes it to the community
to suggest at least typical books
or magazines that he thinks belong
in it. Otherwise, the Board
has no basis for giving his suggestion
the consideration which it
I hope that every one will visit
the library and decide for himself
as to the quality of its contents.
Hopefully, those people who
have done this will then vote on
August 29 for the budget that will
enable the library to continue its
valuable programs and services
without any curtailment. For the
average homeowner the amount
at issue is about $ 1.50 per year.
Anyone who is not now registered
may do so on August 22.
When you vote " Yes" on August
29 you will be voting for a library
of which we may all be proud.
161 Aster Street
The total disregard of democratic
ideals and procedures by
the self- interested dictatorial
Library Board of Trustees is
fully demonstrated in an analysis
of the two previous elections that
defeated the library budget.
The first defeat was by 438
votes out of 4,822 cast or 9.08%.
The second defeat was by 57
votes out of 5,449 ballots cast
or 1.04%. The repudiation of
the Library Board of Trustees
and their budget is self- evident.
The will of the people was clearly
recognized and respected in the
1960 Presidential election when
Kennedy defeated Nixon by a huge
.00017%. However, the will of
the Farmingdale Library System"
when budgets are defeated
by 9.08% and 1.04%.
The comedy of errors is further
illustrated by the timing of
the third proposed expression of
the electorate's will. The election
will take place on a Tuesday,
a business day, in a week
preceding a three day weekend
when many i qualified voters of i
Farmingdale will be away on vacation.
The Board of Trustees
plans to defray the cost of holding
the election from the additional
$ 29,740 that will be
realized if the budget on the
third attempt is approved. If it
is not approved, how will these
expenditures be met? By further
curtailment of Library services?
There exists in this an irony
that is inconsistent and contradictory
to the democratic processes.
Does the Library Board of
Trustees have the interest of
the Farmingdale residents foremost
in their hearts? The answer
is illustrated by the « austerity
budget hours'. The library facilities
are not benefiting the majority
of Farmingdale residents
when they are open until 9 p. m.
on Monday, Tuesday and Wcdnes-*
day evenings and closed ° n
Thursday and Friday evenings
and all day Saturday. This tac-
As we returned to Washington,
D. C. from the July 4th recess,
your congressmen were faced
with a massive backlog of deferred
Congress has spent half its
time this year dealing with the
cases of Senator Thomas Dodd
and Representative Adam Clayton
Powell. One would have
thought that in light of these two
cases, the Democratic congressional
l e a d e r s h i p would have
created a flurry of activity to restore
the peoples' confidence in
its parly and in the congress. Unfortunately,
this has not happened.
Even with this preoccupation
with its own affairs, the problem
of congressional reorganization
has become stalled in the Senate.
What little legislation that has
been passed, has not been all for
the good. The members of congress
did find time to raise the
debt limit ( again). A new and
poor draft bill was passed which
did not eliminate several of the
inequities which already existed
in the draft procedure.
Congress did, at least, pass a
new teacher corps bill which
transfers control from the federal
government to the s t a t e s .
Progress, at least, is slowly
coming for the restoration of investment
tax credits for business,
a financial item which never
should have been taken away.
Congressional inaction spreads
over a wide range of subjects.
Only two of the thirteen ap-propiations
bills have been passed
so far. Unless the other appropriations
bills are enacted by
July 31st, the departments and
programs involved will only be
able to continue operations according
to last year's spending
rate. That may be a blessing in
There has been little or no action
on air pollution control, control
of national emergency transportation
strikes such as those
that affect railroads and airlines,
foreign aid, highway beautifi-cation,
postal rate increases and
increased social security benefits.
The education bill is presently
stalled in the Senate.
In some of these areas, I am
sure that I will not agree with the
bills as they are finally passed.
However, I do feel that congress
has an obligation to the people
to perform its duties with dispatch.
The delays that we have
faced are not making better legislation.
They are merely antagonizing
an already restless congress.
The amount of legislation which
has been completed is 200 per
cent behind last year's slow pace.
At the rate we are going, we will
meet ourselves coming back in
LETTERS ( Continued)
tic is clearly meant to punish
the electorate for expressing
their free will in a free election.
The Baldwin Library Board
accepted their electorate's mandate
after a second vote, and
economized by closing early only
The Farmingdale Library
Board of Trustees can find many
areas of economizing if it was
honest with the electorate and
not motivated by its own self
interests. One, the cost of printing
and mailing the monthly public
relations bulletin can be eli-manated.
Any responsible community
newspaper will most
assuredly publicize the Library's
activities as they do all
other community activities.
There are many areas for economizing.
The allegation that the Library
. Board of Trustees has the community's
best interest in mind is
not substantiated when they force
their personal viewpoint with total
disregard for the majority
opinion expressed on two occas-sions.
Who is the majority? The
Library Board of Trustees attitude
and they know what is
best for community brings forth
this inherent contradiction. The
power prone trustees should take
time out for the reappraisal and
self- examination of their public
trust. The title Trustee means
just what it implies. The majority
has entrusted the Board
with an honorable community responsibility,
and those with this
Trust should not abuse it by
being dictatorial to the electorate.
To the Farmingdale Voters;
It is my unpleasant task to
detail what is already generally
known; that is, that your library
board has now added injury to
insult in defying the will of the
majority of parents and taxpayers
in District 22. They seem
intent on carrying on a personal
vendetta against me at the expense
of the community in general.
Words to adequately describe
the brazen audacity of thie
'^ country club clique" are unfit
Increasing the budget after its
second defeat should go down in
history as a prime example
of the destruction of the democratic
process in 20th century
America and the disrespect with
which elected officials view those
who elected them to office. The
only difference between this system
and totalitarianism is that
we « < elect" our dictators.
While demanding that I apologize
for charging the library
board and director of acting irresponsibly,
they continue to give
proof of their irresponsibility!
Examples are rife. The decision
to increase the budget, as
with the previous budget discussion,
was held in secret, two days
before I took office. However,
I was not informed of this meeting
because, according to former
Board President Mrs. Masa, I
'• would tell the people what happened".
Darn tootin' I would, and
will from now on, to whoever
will listen. Since when should the
public not know what transpires
at meetings of their " representatives"
except insofar as it
may effect national security? Or
does the Farmingdale Library
affect national security?
As far as the matter of obscenity
is concerned, the board
has acted to NOT limit the availability
of " The Paris Review"
to adults only. The specious
reasons given are that it is not
obscene because it " has some
redeeming social value" and they
do not « sell" it and thus do not
violate the letter of N. Y. State
Law prohibiting distribution of
obscene material to teenagers.
As a persona non grata member
of the board my motion to
establish a book review policy
and ' fcdult only" section in the
library was not even seconded.
Nor were my other motions, thus
clearly indicating how closely
they " stick together," as a
former library trustee stated.
One interesting bit of information
from the fiscal standpoint
should be of interest in closing.
TheHandbook for Library Trustees
published by the American
Library Association, which our
board and Director are so
fond of quoting, states on page
58 that " superior" library service
can be provided for three
dollars per capita. The present
budget request amounts to more
than twice that recommendation,
and I don't think anyone is about
to claim that we have superior
Perhaps expenditures such as
the approximately $ 800 plus
salaries for our Library Director
and Assistant to attend conventions
in California recently
where they are told that parents
should not restrict the reading
of their children and that libraries
should preserve pornography,
may be one of the reasons
for our present moral and
What do you think?
Carl E. Gorton
Farmingdale Library Trustee
ForiniRgdaleOBSfRVER Thursday, Juty 20, 1967
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